The term Salvatorians refers to members of the Society of the Divine Savior, a religious institute of the Catholic Church with priests, deacons, brothers, and clerics serving in more than 40 countries throughout world. The title "Divine Savior" is a reference to Jesus Christ. The patrons are Mary, mother of Jesus, under her title "Mother of the Savior," the Apostles, Saint Michael the Archangel, and Saint Joseph. The patronal feast of the Society of the Divine Savior is Christmas Day. The Salvatorians celebrate October 11 as the "Solemnity of Mary, Mother of the Savior." Other important liturgical celebrations include Pentecost Sunday and September 5, the Feast of Blessed Mary of the Apostles.
The "Salvatorian Family" also includes the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Saviour and the Lay Salvatorians, officially the International Community of the Divine Savior. The Society was founded by Venerable Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan in Rome on December 8, 1881. Salvatorians use the post-nominal letters "S.D.S.".
Spirituality and mission
In keeping with the spiritual vision of Father Francis Jordan, the Salvatorians are prepared to serve in any place, spreading the Gospel "by all ways and means." Their work is not limited to one particular activity, but members serve as pastors, catechists and teachers, home and foreign missionaries, chaplains, authors, musicians, counselors, spiritual directors, and in many other areas of ministry. Ultimately, their goal is to proclaim salvation to all people by making known the "loving kindness of the Savior."
The "Constitution" of the Society of the Divine Savior specifies that "Salvatorian life is apostolic and is the expression of the love of Christ urging us to spend ourselves for the salvation of all people... We proclaim Jesus Christ to all people by all ways and means which the love of Christ inspires, especially through the witness of our lives, our kindness, and our apostolic zeal. In fulfilling this ministry we always respect human dignity, and we are ready to serve all people without distinction" (§201-202).
Salvatorian scholars identify four primary biblical texts as being fundamental for understanding both the Society's charism and spiritual vision of Father Francis Jordan. These include:
- John 17:3: "Now eternal life is this, to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."
- Matthew 28:19-20: "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And, behold, I am with you always until the end of the age."
- Mark 16:15: "Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Gospel to every creature."
- Daniel 12:3: "But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament; and those who lead the many to justice will shine brightly like the stars for all eternity."
Salvatorian priests and brothers have been serving in the United States since 1892 and members of the United States province can be found serving in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin; the United States Province is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.. Members of the United States Province are also currently serving on the Salvatorian Generalate in Rome, Italy, in the Philippines, and in Tanzania.
SOFIA is an acronym for the Salvatorian Office for International Aid which works alongside the Salvatorians in order to increase the impact and sustainability of the community's projects.
Established in 2008, SOFIA supports Salvatorian initiatives in health, education, rural development, and pastoral formation.
- Blessed Mary of the Apostles, co-foundress of the Sisters of the Divine Savior. She was beatified by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1967.
- Otto Hopfenmüller (d. 1890), Salvatorian missionary to India.
- Bonaventure Lüthen (d. 1911), early Salvatorian and collaborator of Father Jordan.
- Melchior Geser, a German Salvatorian priest, who was killed by Communist bandits at the Salvatorian mission in Kienning, in China's Fujian Province, on June 11, 1931. He is honored as the first Salvatorian martyr.
- Epiphanius Deibele (d. 1936), the first superior of the Salvatorian community in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin. In addition to overseeing the construction of the Salvatorian monastery and St. Ambrose chapel at St. Nazianz, he oversaw the remnant of the community established there years before by Father Ambrose Oschwald.
- Gertrude Ludwig and Agnieszka Falkus, Salvatorian Sisters killed by the Nazis on January 22, 1945, "in defense of chastity"
- Pancratrius (Markus) Pfeiffer (d. 1945), second Superior General of the Society and honored as the "Angel of Rome" because of his courageous acts of charity during World War II.
- Heribert Aloysius Theodor Winkler (d. 1967), first superior of the Apostolic Prefecture of Shaowu, China
- Bonaventura Josef Schweizer (d. 1968), fifth Superior General of the Society and "Council Father" of the first, second, and third sessions of the Second Vatican Council
- Maurinus Rast (d. 1969), sixth Superior General of the Society and "Council Father" of the fourth session of the Second Vatican Council
- Leonard Gerke (d. 1973), a German Salvatorian priest and theologian who served in numerous positions within the Society, including as a professor in England the United States, as a missionary in China, and as the author of "Because He Hoped in Me," a popular account of the life of Father Francis Jordan, the founder of the Society of the Divine Savior. In 1938-1939, Father Leonard also served as chaplain of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
- Afonso de Oliveira Lima (d. 1994), first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brejo, Brazil
- Arnold Ralph Cotey (d. 1998), American missionary and first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lindi, Tanzania
- Charles Mahuza Yava (b. 1960), first Apostolic Vicar of the Apostolic Vicariate of the Comoros Archipelago
- Winfrid Herbst (d. 1988), a Salvatorian priest who served the American Province as the author and editor. He wrote hundreds of pamphlets and books, including "Eucharistic Whisperings," and was the editor of "Manna" and "The Savior's Call," two important Salvatorian publications in the middle of the twentieth century.
- Henricus Verkooijen (d. 1991), a Belgian Salvatorian brother and missionary to the Democratic Republic of the Congo who worked as a laborer and builder of bridges. He was honored as a chief with the title "Yavu a Nawej" by the Lunda people.
- Robert Nugent (d. 2014), an American Salvatorian priest and co-founder of New Ways Ministry.
- "Salvatorians International".
- see "Our Biblical Roots" by Fr. Arno Boesing, S.D.S., in Salvatorian Key Elements: Charism, Mission, Spirituality, Identity, volume 2, published by the International Joint Charism Commission (2005)
- "Ministries - Salvatorians".
- "Fr Otto Hopfenmuller".
- "Fr Bonaventura Luthen".
- "Fr Pancratius Pfeiffer".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Salvatorians.|
- Society of the Divine Savior - Official web site
- Society of the Divine Savior - United States Province
- The Website of the Lay Salvatorians
- SOFIA/The Salvatorian Office of International Aid
- "Society of the Divine Savior". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
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